So as you all have heard by now, Yonezawa Rumi and Hirajima Natsumi was caught in a scandal last weekend and subsequently both of them withdrew from AKB48. The previous post regarding this was the announcement. Here we will go into detail about the scandal.
DISCLAIMER: most, if not all, of the information came from 2ch, so please take everything with a grain of salt
So this all started when someone on 2ch posted a thread with the title "I found something incredible" which eventually lead to Yonezawa's private mixi account exposed. According to 2ch posters, these were discovered by Johnnys wotas when combing through Tegoshi's twitter. The ones who are familiar with AKB48 took this information to AKB board and asked if the girl is Yonezawa , and the rest is history.
The first things were screenshots that looked like status updates from Yonezawa's Mixi account. Two of these updates are very important and quite self-explanatory.
1. one of the posts on August 12 said,
"An 'official' sex friend is a boyfriend, and an 'unofficial' sex friend is a lover? I don't like the sound of either! It's 5am and I'm still not asleep because I'm thinking about stupid stuff. Concert in Sendai tomorrow."
Team K did perform in Sendai on August 12. Since she hadn't gone to bed when she posted this at 5am, one can assume that "tomorrow" is really "today", 8/12.
2. the post on August 29 said,
"I've been a lonely girl for 3 weeks. The last time I was a lonely girl was 4 years ago. Maybe it's time to get a boyfriend, but at this point there isn't anyone that I would jump to date, but I really want one..."
Next up was Yonezawa's private twitter account and her yfrog photo album. But they are all defunct by now because the accounts were deleted/deactivated. This is where Hirajima's name started to come up because she was in some of the photos. Information from her official twitter account (@rumiii0606) matched with responses to her private twitter account, such as a haircut on January 23rd 2012, and photos from Guam just before the March 11 2011 Earthquake.
Then apparently Hirajima also had a private twitter account, and more photos were discovered. Most of the pictures were quite harmless, but one photo in particular showed what was possibly a sleepover with both Hirajima and Yonezawa. This was pretty much the last nail in the coffin.
All while this was unfolding, Yonezawa was still on the flight on the way to Singapore, with no clue to what was happening. Togasaki's twitter account was bombarded with requests for an investigation into the photos.
Yonezawa's last google+ post was also spammed with angry fans, but most of the mean comments was because they were angry she was trying to mislead other girls. It was said that she introduced guys to some SKE48 and NMB48 girls too. A lot of the later comments were like "please don't drag other people down with you".
Everything ended on the early morning hours of the 28th, with Togasaki's post on the AKB48 Official Blog. Both girls have sent in their resignations and Producer Akimoto Yasushi approved of them.
They will still attend the AKB48 handshake event on February 5th, which will be their last event under AKB.
At 6am Akimoto Yasushi wrote a post on his google+ account
We had an unfortunate announcement.And another at 8am
After discussing with the members involved, their managers and staff members, I approved the decision.
I don't want to put extra blame on them. If they were normal students, this would not have been a problem.
However, they are members of AKB48, and must abide by the AKB48 rules.
"But then how about that other member?"
Some will surely identify other members with rumors.
But how many yellow cards / warnings do you think their managers and our staff members gave?
They only violated AKB48 rules, and not rules of the society. It seems like they intend to stay in the showbiz even after leaving AKB48, so I will keep giving them my support.
I have diligently read everyone's comments. As Executive Producer, I have to apologize for my negligence/carelessness about this matter. I feel that they will need an opportunity to address this to the fans directly.
Please allow me to talk about something unrelated for a moment.
In one of the past auditions, there was a girl who sang well. She had a charismatic voice and had the right attitude. I was unsure until the very end, but I rejected her. I really thought I did the right thing. I believed that I was not able to fully utilize her talents.
But then she met Kobayashi Takeshi, who is the producer for Mr. Children and debuted.
She is Salyu. She probably would not have sold many records had I been the producer. I think she sells well now because she teamed up with Kobayashi.
Does AKB48 have future Salyus?
I am always anxious about this.
Are there members who will do better if I am not the producer?
This is why I am proactively working with outsiders [lit: external creators], leaving the casting for music videos, dramas, movies and TV shows to them.
AKB48 is not everything.
Producer Akimoto Yasushi is not everything.
I am going to talk with both members, see where their talents will blossom and help them get there.
At 9am Togasaki wrote a post on his Google+ account
Last night we were busy until the wee hours and couldn't really get any sleep after the announcement.
Since I started working on this project, we've occasionally had to make these sudden but necessary announcements. What happened was both regrettable and frustrating.
It's not just the members. We have said many times before that fans who break rules or behave poorly will be banned. Even if a fan was having a great conversation in my office, he/she would be asked to leave and banned from the theater immediately if he/she behaved improperly.
[I am not sure how to translate this next sentence
その時感じるこのやりきれない思い. maybe "This is just too much"?
If anyone knows please help :)]
All these encounters and departures have made AKB48 who they are today.
They definitely have learned something from what happened yesterday.
We have received a lot of messages from worried fans wanting to know what will happen to those 2 members - we would like to thank you for the messages.
We understand that many of you want to know what will happen to their personal careers more than the impact on AKB48.
With regards to the 2 members, who are 1st and 3rd generation, they had enough courage [lit: guts] coming into AKB48 not knowing where it will lead [lit: not knowing where the AKB48 boat will sail to].
During their time in AKB48, they experienced all sorts of happy and sad things together as friends.
And during times like these, there are a lot of fans who are worried about them.
The staff, just like everyone else, will keep lending their support to these two.
They have courage, friends, and experience.
These are assets that no one can take away from them.
So we think they will be fine wherever they go.
[this actually is a very warm statement but just sounds cold in English]
So long as they do not forget these assets, we have faith in them that things will be ok.
We ask you to keep supporting both AKB48 and the 2 of them.
Now I'm at the end of the post - with regards to their handshake events, we will announce them when we figure something out.
Then at 3pm Togasaki posted both on the blog and his google+ account about the resignations
Here I will explain the circumstances of the sudden resignation announcements of Hirajima Natsumi and Yonezawa Rumi, since many fans are asking to know more.
It started when a private photo was discovered online. The photo was the result of an AKB member's inconsideration and bad judgment.
We were told of this incident by fans and when we investigated, both admitted to breaking AKB48 rules; they are very sorry that they have made a huge mess by taking photos of potentially compromising situations, and that they caused concern/worry among their fans.
They then tendered their resignations from AKB48, and the management announced earlier that their resignation requests are accepted/approved.
They both will attend the handshake event on Feb 5th and greet their fans directly, and this will be their last event under AKB48.